I found out they were joining a new group in Michigan and I knew that I wanted to go there too.
So, I did. My commitment with the college was up, and I packed everything I owned in a large trunk and left school never having seen or heard of this group till that summer.
The ministry they belonged to was not tied to any college, but was founded by a man with an intense desire to see America experience spiritual revival. He led teams of young adults in innovative and creative multimedia events.
I was to train to be in one of these groups, and raise my own support to pay my way.
The training was intense, and the people were just as intense.(more on this later) However, the young man I had taken an interest in seemed (for lack of a better word) monk-like. He just wasn't looking for a girlfriend.
I was assigned a mic partner - we sang in pairs - who was probably the least intense sort of personality on the team. He was 19, and his diet consisted of chocolate chip cookies and french fries, when he could get them. He usually found a way to get them, and sometimes he would get the girls to make cookies for him. He kept showing me his go-cart license and telling some story about getting stabbed in high school in a fight. He was young enough that I thought of him as a little brother, one that needed a bit of tending, and although I thought he was cute, I had my eye on a much more driven personality.
Meanwhile I was thinking all sorts of intense thoughts about God and my life, and trying to fit in with this almost cult-like group. (In defense of the organization, which shall not be named here, it was not a cult, but just very focused, and often adopted a lot of peer pressure to induce a following.)
I took myself and my spirituality very seriously, and it seemed I had come to the right place. We were prompted to pray, give sacrificially and read our Bibles, even though we were in church 24-7. Did I mention it was intense?
My mic partner kept himself busy in his off time with painting fences, and doing airport pickups for incoming guests and teammembers, and he got his class A so he could drive the semi's which housed all our sound and light equipment. He also tended a lone rose bush on the property; we discovered that we both loved roses. He didn't like to read or study, but loved working with his hands, and he could play the piano like nobody's business!
When we finished training and went on the road, I would occasionally ride with him in the semi truck and he'd tell me stories about back home in Ohio. I was a little worried that I was becoming attracted to someone so young and 'not intense'. I searched the Bible for his name, and sure enough it was in there, but not with specific instructions about whether or not it was okay to marry him. Apparently I was left on my own for this momentous decision. By now he was 20 and I was just turning 25. This was not exactly how I had planned things.
I went home for a vacation and from my mother's recollection his name came up a lot.
-Tune in tomorrow for part 3.